Education System in Panama

Panama is the southern most country in the Central American region and acts as a connector between the continents of North and South America. Costa Rica, Columbia, Caribbean Islands and the Pacific Ocean on the west, southeast, north and south respectively surrounds Panama. It experiences a tropical climate throughout the year because of its proximity with the Equator.
In Panama, the preschools are aimed at children between 4 and 5 years old. There are two stages of education, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, duration of each stage is 1 year. Nine years of Education is compulsory for every child in Panama. This constitutes for 6 year of primary school and 3 years of secondary school. 

Children join primary school at the age of 6; here they learn basic subjects such as Spanish, English, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science, Arts, Music, Technology, Physical Education, Home Education and Agriculture are taught. After successful completion of elementary schooling children move to middle school and receive Certificate of General Basic Education. 

In middle schools study concentrates around subjects like Spanish, Geography, History, Civics, Science, Technology, Typing, Arts, Industrial Arts, Music, Mathematics, Notions of Commerce and Accounting, Physical Education, Agriculture and English.

Duration of senior high schools is 3 years (or 2 years in alternative schools). Here students can chose from following study areas: 
  • Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Commerce
  • Accounting
  • Information Technology
  • Agriculture
  • Pedagogy
  • Tourism
  • Maritime Services
  • Technical modalities like: Cooling and Air Conditioning, Construction, Electricity, Electronics, Autotronic or Mechanical Technology
  • Institutional Service and Management
  • Home Education
  • Arts
Upon successful completion of coursework High School Diploma is awarded. 

Higher education in Panama is divided into two categories: University Superior and Non-University Superior. University higher education leading to award of bachelor’s degree is taught across many colleges, universities and institutes of higher education in Panama.  Technical bachelor’s degree programmes may require 5/6 years of study.

Higher non-university education is offered by "Higher Education Institutes" or "Higher Education Centers". This leads to the award of various diploma certificate and professional technical training certificate. 

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